By Stephen Pollard
November 23, 2009
Let's say straight away that it looks as if Andrew Dismore has stayed within the letter, and probably even the spirit, of the expenses rules.
But here's what I can't understand. I live in Finchley, which is, if anything, a little bit further out of London than Mr Dismore's constituency and flat in Hendon. I often work late at night. I get in early. But it has never crossed my mind that I need to have somewhere closer to the office to lay my tired head when I've been working hard.
But for Mr Dismore, it seems, it's not enough to have a home in Hendon - he also needs one in Notting Hill.
Here's what he told the Telegraph:
“It was my intention when I bought
the Hendon flat for it to be my main home. After about 18 months it became
clear to me that with increasing parliamentary demands on my time I was
spending more time in London than in Hendon.”
He added the Hendon flat was “cheaper to run” and so less of a drain on public
He said that he needed both homes “to do [his] job well” and “give a full
day’s service to constituents”. He said he stopped claiming allowances for
the second home in April.
I just love that last sentence: he needed to have two homes in London to do [his] job well.
I somehow doubt he really means that, because if it's true, he's saying that he's simply not up to the job and should be booted out at the first opportunity. Quite a few of live the Hendon/Fninchley area and work in town, Mr Dismore - and work at least as hard as you. I doubt a single one thinks we need two homes in London to do our job properly.